In these uncertain economic times, it’s more important than ever to get the most for your money, especially when it comes to groceries. But comparison supermarket shopping isn’t exactly easy in the time of COVID. We’re supposed to be limiting our trips to the store, not adding more of them to see where we can get the best deal on eggs.
That’s where Basket comes in. It’s an app for iOS and Android currently in beta that lets users compare the prices of items across multiple grocery stores in their area before leaving the house.
So for instance, after downloading the app I enter my location and select from stores nearby (Walmart, Target, Trader Joe’s, etc.). I compile my usual grocery list, and once I’m done, Basket tells me how much my list costs at each store. That way I can know where I’m getting the best deal and go to that store.
Andy Ellwood, Co-Founder and President of Basket, told me by phone this week that Basket users save an average of 20 percent on their orders.
But Basket also figures that money isn’t the only thing that is valuable to people. In its results, Basket highlights both the cheapest and the nearest store options because you may not want to drive 10 miles out of your way to save five bucks.
The app gets its pricing information from people, called shoppers, who use the Basket app to upload pricing information on a variety of items across the store. Ellwood said that Basket has had around 50,000 of these shoppers over the life of the app, which launched a beta in 2018. On an ongoing basis, the app has a couple hundred to a couple thousand price shoppers per month.
Much like Waze, where Ellwood once worked, many of these shoppers do it just to be a part of the bargain hunting community (read: volunteers). But Basket does engage some “Commerce Moderators” who log a lot of prices, and rewards them with a variety of prize incentives to seek out and upload even more pricing information.
The Basket app is free to download and use, and the company has raised $10 million in funding so far. Basket makes its money by providing pricing data to manufacturers who want to better understand how much items cost at any given time in different areas.
One thing Basket does not have is an e-commerce tie-in. So once you’ve assembled your grocery list, you can’t buy everything at a selected store through the app. You still have to go out and into the store to actually grocery shop. Ellwood said this is type of integration with delivery or curbside pickup is on the Basket roadmap.
Given how the pandemic has created record levels of online grocery shopping, Basket may want to fast-track that type of functionality. Granted, we don’t know how much of that record-setting traffic will become the new normal, but if Basket is supposed to help make my grocery shopping more cost-effective, it should be able to make my trip to the grocery store more efficient.
The Basket app will officially launch out of beta later this summer.